- 184 candidates were chosen through a rigorous peer-review process from almost 3,000 applicants.
Five Indian Americans are among a diverse 184 artists, writers, scholars and scientists awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. These exceptional candidates were chosen through a rigorous peer-review process from almost 3,000 applicants. Indian American awardees include Astronomer Arjun Dey of the National Science Foundation’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab); Suhas Diggavi, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles; Debarati Sanyal, Professor of French, University of California, Berkeley; Lochlann Jain, professor of anthropology at Stanford University; and Priyanga Amarasekare, professor of ecology and evolution at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Arjun Dey is an astronomer at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona., where he studies how galaxies form and evolve and how they trace the large-scale distribution of matter in the universe. He aims to apply massively multiplexed spectroscopic capabilities to the solution of major astrophysical mysteries, such as our cosmological origins and the nature of dark energy. The India-born Dey received his BA from Northwestern University and a PhD in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. He was an NOAO postdoctoral fellow and then a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University before joining the scientific staff of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Dey is committed to representing the needs of the astronomical community to federal funding agencies (the Department of Energy, NASA, and the National Science Foundation) and has served on advisory committees such as the NASA Advisory Council’s Astrophysics Subcommittee.
Suhas Diggavi is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include information theory and its applications to learning, cyber-physical systems, security and privacy, wireless networks, bioinformatics and neuroscience. He received a BTech in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, and a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University. After completing his PhD, he was a Principal Member Technical Staff in the Information Sciences Center, AT&T Shannon Laboratories. After that he was on the faculty of the School of Computer and Communication Sciences, EPFL, where he directed the Laboratory for Information and Communication Systems (LICOS). He joined UCLA as professor of Electrical Engineering in 2010.
Debarati Sanyal, Professor of French, University of California, Berkeley, is currently also the Head Graduate Adviser, and is affiliated with Critical Theory, The Center for Race and Gender, and European Studies. Her research and teaching interests include critical refugee studies; aesthetics and biopolitics; human rights and humanitarianism; postwar French and Francophone culture; transcultural memory studies; Holocaust studies; critical theory; 19th-century French literature. Sanyals’ first book, “The Violence of Modernity: Baudelaire, Irony and the Politics of Form” (Johns Hopkins, 2006), reclaims Baudelaire’s aesthetic legacy for ethical inquiry and historical critique, pursuing it in later authors, including Rachilde and Despentes. Her second book, “Memory and Complicity: Migrations of Holocaust Memory” (Fordham, 2015), addresses the transnational deployment of complicity in the aftermath of the Shoah (from Primo Levi, Albert Camus, Alain Resnais, and Jean-Paul Sartre to Jonathan Littell, Assia Djebar, Boualem Sansal and Giorgio Agamben). She is currently completing a book on migrant resistance, biopolitics and aesthetics in Europe’s current refugee “crisis.”
Lochlann Jain, professor of anthropology at Stanford University works at the intersection of science and technology studies, history, political economy, gender and sexuality, biology, and medicine. He is also interested in arts-based methods in humanities and social sciences. He launched a major research project on zoonosis and virology, specifically aiming to better understand the history of vaccine development over the past 200 years. His book “Injury” (Princeton UP: 2006), analyzed the twentieth century emergence of tort law in the United States as a highly politicized and problematic form of regulating the design of mass-produced commodities in light of their propensity to injure naïve consumers. His second book, “Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us” (UC Press: 2013) examines the ways in which institutions such as law, medicine, and the media have established ways of understanding, justifying, and carefully managing the social understanding of cancer.
Priyanga Amarasekare is a professor of ecology and evolution at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on mechanisms that maintain biological diversity in variable environments.Last October she joined George Perry as a Specialty Chief Editor for Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution dedicated Models in Ecology and Evolution specialty section. The section publishes cutting-edge research that uses modeling approaches and theory to solve complex ecological and evolutionary questions.
Created in 1925 by Senator Simon and Olga Guggenheim in memory of their son John Simon Guggenheim, the foundation has offered fellowships to exceptional individuals in pursuit of scholarship in any field of knowledge and creation in any art form, under the freest possible conditions.
“I am thrilled to announce this new group of Guggenheim Fellows,” said Edward Hirsch, president of the foundation, “especially since this has been a devastating year in so many ways. A Guggenheim Fellowship has always been meaningful, but this year we know it will be a lifeline for many of the new Fellows at a time of great hardship, a survival tool as well as a creative one. The work supported by the fellowship will help us understand more deeply what we are enduring individually and collectively, and it is an honor for the Foundation to help the Fellows do what they were meant to do.”